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Halo Infinite Campaign Designed for Normal Difficulty Instead of the Typical Heroic

Halo Infinite Campaign Designed for Normal Difficulty Instead of the Typical Heroic - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 19 November 2021 / 1,541 Views

Halo Infinite character director Stephen Dyck speaking with VideoGamesChronicle has revealed the campaign in the game has been designed with Normal difficulty in mind rather than the typical Heroic difficulty with past releases. 

"Traditionally, Halo's always been developed on the Heroic difficulty, and we did the same thing for 4 and 5," he said.

"So usually we look at Heroic, we’re tuning everything here, everything is scaled down a little bit for Normal and Easy and then scaled up a little bit for Legendary. This time, we spent much more time on the Normal difficulty, expecting new players to come in.

"That doesn’t mean that Heroic isn’t hard and that Legendary isn’t very punishing, those are things that are still just part of Halo, but we did spend more time on Normal difficulty from the standpoint of, 'what if you were a new player and you’d never fought the covenant before or you’ve never fought anything in Halo before and it’s your first time using an AR?'

"We want those players to have fun and success and not immediately be hit with a wall from a gameplay standpoint where they’re like, 'aw man, I haven’t played this, I don’t get it… am I supposed to use a specific damage type here?’ Or, ‘that grenade didn’t do anything, why didn’t it do anything?'

"So one of the philosophies we’ve had is, the player’s always right or the game says ‘yes’. If the player wants to use something or a certain type of weapon, while certain weapons will be more successful, we’re never going to say, 'you’re just wrong, you can’t do that.'

"That’s where I’d say from a gameplay standpoint our philosophy was a little bit different, we were just kind of like – come in, play, we’ll ease into things, we’ll tutorialise things for you especially with the addition of things like equipment and things like that. So ideally, the player has a smoother ramp into the Halo world of gameplay."

Associate creative director Paul Crocker added there is a "golden path" for players to following throughout the story and the more you travel outside the path the more spike in difficulty you will find. 

"The golden path is very curated by us," Crocker said. "The further away from the golden path you travel, you’ll hit difficulty spikes which are challenges to return to if you fail when you first encounter them.

"As you engage with equipment upgrades, as you capture more FOBs, as you bring marines, you can bring help with you for those encounters.

"Anecdotally, some of the people on the team actually found Normal difficulty a bit harder because it was more open and more 360 degrees of combat, whereas players who play a lot of other titles were finding it very easy, so the balance was making sure it was inviting to all players on Normal difficulty, then a guarantee that if you bump up the difficulty, it gets more challenging."

Campaign art lead Justin Dinges chimed in by admitting there was a lot of things players in Halo 5 had to know going into the game. This time thy wanted to make it more accessible to new players. 

"We got a lot of feedback on 5 that there was a high price of entry into that game of knowing things," he said.

"So we wanted to make the price of entry into the franchise more available to people, so they didn’t feel that they had to [know things]. That doesn’t mean all that information isn’t there… hopefully, it just doesn’t require you to know that stuff."

Halo Infinite free-to-play multiplayer beta is now available, while the campaign will launch on December 8 for the Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC.

A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at or on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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VAMatt (on 19 November 2021)

Whatever. I'll be playing it for my first playthrough on heroic anyway, unless I find it way too hard. That's just an automatic for me with Halo, and most FPSs.

  • +13
mjk45 VAMatt (on 19 November 2021)

It seems a bit strange after all there's easy for beginners, so your basically tailoring for a more linier game on normal, it seems rather than difficulty the problem they are addressing is one of focus ,especially with infinite being more open world so where to go and what to do next is better defined on normal.

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DonFerrari (on 19 November 2021)

Considering I`m a player that usually go for normal or easy unless a platinum determines I need to go for hard this would be good. But let's see how the fanbase will evaluate this change.

  • +1
mjk45 DonFerrari (on 19 November 2021)

Just play to your level ,I'm waiting for a level tailored to me called the stupid idiots level .

  • +6
scrapking DonFerrari (on 19 November 2021)

I usually play through on normal to experience the story, and then (to the degree that I'm inspired to) will play on higher skill levels to experience higher levels of challenge.

  • +5
victor83fernandes DonFerrari (on 19 November 2021)

A shame, I usually go for the hardest difficulty on any game, I am old school when games used to be a challenge, story is secondary to gameplay for me. If I wanted a story with easy handholding, I'd rather go watch a movie.

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DonFerrari victor83fernandes (on 22 November 2021)

I'm an old time gamer, but I do have more games than time available and gameplay itself doesn't change with difficult, just the way you need to master the game itself. So if it is a game I truly enjoy and needs to beat on hard I do, but usually I go for easy or normal. I have platined all uncharted games except the vita one, and for remasters and collections I have done it twice with all the times beating the game on Crushing. GoW I beat on Give me God of War and for half the game I was level 1 and it was truly hard. But I see no reason for force myself for frustration so I don't care about trying hardest most of time.

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scrapking DonFerrari (on 22 November 2021)

Agreed. As an old-time gamer myself, when I got a new game it was an event, and that new game (plus my collection) had to tide me over for a looooooong time until I got another new game. And my collection was really small, as gaming was new and I didn't have decades of systems kicking around. Back when I was playing on Intellivision, followed by Commodore 64, for example.

So the games being hard, and taking a long time to beat (or more commonly "master" since many of them didn't have endings) made sense when I was young, had more time on my hands, and fewer games to play. Also, the games rarely had much story.

These days games have more story, and I have less time on my hands, so it just makes sense to play them on a lower skill level if I want to experience the whole game! And then a replay on a harder skill level if I have the time and inclination.

  • +3
DonFerrari scrapking (on 23 November 2021)

Exactly I will only play on harder difficult if I truly loved the game.

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dane007 DonFerrari (on 20 November 2021)

Legendary difficulty on halo5 was far too easy compared to the older halo games.

  • +4
Shadow1980 (on 20 November 2021)

I will say that ever since Halo 2, Legendary has been difficult for all the wrong reasons. In CE, it felt challenging but fair. But in Halo 2 they had an across-the-board increase in enemy damage output, allowing enemies to kill you much quicker. While later games toned down some of the really cheap stuff from Halo 2 (namely sniper Jackals), they still had that flaw of enemies doing more damage than they really needed to, which made the games feel difficult in a not-fun way on Legendary by forcing you to play in very specific ways. The original game demonstrated that you can make for a good challenge without making to where nearly every enemy can kill you in half a second. Difficulty tuning should focus less on ramping up enemy damage to absurd levels and more on factors like encounter design, enemy behavior, level design, resource availability, and even whether or not the player's health regenerates. Hopefully Infinite's Legendary feels more like the tough-but-fair challenge of CE instead of the tedious PITA that later games felt like on Legendary.

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mjk45 Shadow1980 (on 21 November 2021)

I somewhat agree but isn't that what various difficultly levels are for, don't like legendries enemy damage output so you drop down to a level that suits you.

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Shadow1980 mjk45 (on 22 November 2021)

It was an across-the-board damage increase. Halo 2 Heroic is more in line with CE's Legendary. I did the math, and enemies do something like 60% more damage in Halo 2 than in CE. The damage scaling was similar in later games (and seems even higher in Halo 5, as the squad mechanics likely convinced them to make enemies do even more damage than they had been). Having enemies do more damage on higher difficulties is standard. What was different post-CE is the base damage.

Let's say in Game X the player character has 100 HP. In one game, the standard enemies do 5 HP of damage with their basic attacks on Easy, 10 HP on Normal, and 15 HP on Hard. Then in the sequel the developer ramps up those values to 8, 16, and 24 HP, respectively. They made the game more difficult in every difficulty level. The old Hard mode is barely more difficulty than the new Normal, and the new Hard mode is arguably unfair. It's such a lazy brute-force way of making things more challenging. They could have made the game more challenging by leaving the damage values the same as in the original game and focusing on tweaking encounter design or any of the other things I mentioned yesterday. That does take actual effort, but makes for a more rewarding and fun gameplay experience.

  • +1
mjk45 Shadow1980 (on 22 November 2021)

Thanks for the reply really informative , I have been playing MCC in preparation for Infinite, since my reply I just played and finished Halo 2 and noticed quite a jump in damage taken by the covenant especially on high charity in one section Elites would shrug off 3 direct hits with the fuel gun and basically walk through it and I would die from splash damage even when behind a wall and away from the edges. or get one shot with full shields .
The interesting thing is playing MCC in chronological order , looking back at my Reach playthrough it seemed to be more balanced even though it was the last Bungie Halo, so I wonder if Bungie realised this and dampened down the previous increases only for 343 to revert back .

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